As someone who grew up 20 minutes from Fort Lauderdale, I never really considered this a bachelorette destination. But after moving to NYC for five years and hitting the age of marriage, I put my biases aside and saw Fort Lauderdale for what it was—an incredibly affordable warm weather bachelorette destination. At first, I couldn’t see why someone would pick Fort Lauderdale over Miami, but after vacationing in Miami, I immediately figured out why. The first reason is that Fort Lauderdale is cheap AF, and the second is that it is wayyyyy more chill. Not in the way that there isn’t anything going on, but in the way that it doesn’t require you to spend thousands of dollars on table reservations and wait in hour-long lines to get into bars or clubs.
How To Get There
Unless you live in Georgia or Alabama, you’ll be flying down to Fort Lauderdale, and even if you live in either of those two places, I highly suggest you don’t drive. Round trip flights are pretty reasonable depending on how far in advance you book them, with flights (obviously) being more expensive in the winter than the summer. They start at about $300 round trip, and most major airports have direct flights into FLL.
Where To Stay
I was all about renting an Airbnb until I had a firsthand experience at The W Fort Lauderdale. The first thing I want to mention is the 24-hour room service, because there is nothing worse than coming back home from a night of drinking and not being able to get your hands on quality food. While most hotels are anti-bachelorette celebrations, the W has a ton of different packages that are catered specifically toward these groups.
You can set up a “bachelorette delivery” where a roll-away cart is brought to your room each night with all the sh*t you didn’t pack. The carts are even themed and specific to your needs. Think fluffy pillows, confetti, and other IG props with the Style Cart, or the much-needed Retox Cart with green juice shots, Aspirin, and Alka Seltzer to chase off the hangover.
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if you’re craving some much needed sun but don’t want to spend a ton of time traveling or planning a high maintenance vacation – this hotel profile is for you. @wfortlauderdale recently went through a 55 million dollar renovation, is right on the beach, only 25 minutes from the airport, and has enough restaurants and bars/restaurants that if you wanted, you don’t even need to leave the property. link in bio for our guide to Fort Lauderdale.
And no bach party is complete without a pool party, because nothing screams “I’m having the best time ever” quite like bottle service in the sun at 1pm. And brides get preferential treatment at the W’s pool, WET Deck, where the DJ will play the bride’s top five favorite songs. Order food and drinks directly to your day bed throughout the day and take a quick nap before heading out for the night, all under one roof.
The hotel also has a bunch of bars and restaurants, which makes everything that much more convenient when dealing with large groups. You can literally wake up, eat, spend the entire day here, nap, get ready, and go to a group dinner without ever leaving the property.
If you’re more inclined to have everyone in one house, there are a ton of Airbnbs all over the city. The other hotel we would suggest is The Dalmar, which has a lively rooftop called Sparrow that’s open Thursday-Sunday.
How To Get Around
You’ve got two options: calling ride share or using your feet. Uber and Lyft are constantly running, and the wait time is typically less than five minutes when you’re in the heart of the city. The prices aren’t insane (compared to the crazy NYC rates)—even the cost of the car from the airport to wherever you’re staying is going to be under $40. If you’re bar hopping up and down Las Olas, you’ll be able to get from bar to bar on foot. There are little bicycle buggies driving around also, so if you want to take a ride for fun (and the ‘gram, let’s be serious), go for it, but it’s not necessary to get from place to place.
Where To Eat
Group dinners on bachelorette parties typically go one of two ways—you’re either thrilled or you’re pissed. Fort Lauderdale has a ton of fun restaurants that are reasonably priced. Yes, there are some places that are nicer than others, but you can get away with a delicious meal for $40 or less (drinks not included, sorry, this isn’t heaven).
El Vez is a really fun Mexican spot in the W Fort Lauderdale. They have large sharing portions and a ton of apps, making it an ideal set-up for a bachelorette party. Obviously the more you drink at dinner, the more your bill goes up, but the food is very reasonably priced for being high quality.
For your one nicer night out we suggest going to S3-Sun Surf Sand, which is right on the beach. They serve both American food and sushi, so there’s something for everyone. Request to sit outside by the fireplace and be sure to get there before 7pm to take advantage of happy hour priced wine and cocktails every day of the week. Other dinner spots we suggest are El Camino, Steak 954, Big City Tavern, and ETARU.
For brunch, you literally must go to Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria, right in the heart of all the action on Las Olas Boulevard. Get unlimited drink specials on Saturday and Sunday until 4pm—a perfect way to kick off your day of debauchery. If you’re looking for a quick spot to grab breakfast, juice, or coffee, The Alchemist has a ton of open-faced sandwiches (avocado toast, caprese, smoked salmon, etc.) all for under $10.
Where To Party
Depending on your crew, you may want to kick off your party weekend with a workout class. No? Just me? Whatever—if working out is your crew’s type of thing, then you need to hit up a class at Yoga Joint Downtown Fort Lauderdale. Located at The Dalmar hotel, this heated studio offers yoga and HIIT type classes, so there’s something for everyone, plus it’ll ease the guilt when you spend the rest of your weekend drinking.
Now onto the fun stuff… one of my favorite bars in the area is definitely Rhythm & Vine, an outdoor/indoor beer garden with picnic tables and food trucks. Start off the night there before heading to Las Olas to barhop up and down the boulevard. Bars to hit up include YOLO, Big City Tavern, Royal Pig Pub & Kitchen, and American Social. If you’re looking to experience live music in the divey-est of all the dive bars then head to Fat Cats, and if you’re looking for a little more of an upscale nighttime experience, then go to The Wilder.
The spot you cannot miss during your Fort Lauderdale bachelorette is a new spot and also one of my newest favorites, The Wharf. It’s a massive outdoor day drinking space with a bunch of food trucks, a handful of bars, lawn games, adults-only areas, and of course a DJ. It’s open Thursday through Sunday, and offers a ton of different drink specials each day. On Thursdays, they offer a “Knot Your Average Thursday” happy hour with $1 Wharf lagers and $3 wine by the glass from 4-7pm. On Fridays, you can get mules, mojitos, and margaritas starting at $4, from 4-7pm. On Saturday, get the “Rosé All Day” package with $25 Côtes de Provence Rosé bottle specials from 12-4pm. And if for some reason you’re still here on Sunday, there’s a champagne special from 12pm-4pm.
If you can’t tell, the theme of partying in Fort Lauderdale is being outside, and this next recommendation is no exception. No bachelorette would be complete without a day or night out at Rooftop @ 1WLO. The Rooftop is an open-air patio with tons of trees and plants—you’re basically partying in a rooftop garden. If fancy cocktails are your thing, this is the spot for you. The drinks are pricier than some other bars on Las Olas, but the views (and pics you will take) are worth it.
Thursday, Day 1
- Land and check into The W Fort Lauderdale
- Have pre-dinner drinks at The Living Room bar in the hotel
- Dinner at El Vez
- Start at Rhythm & Vine, then Uber to Las Olas to bar hop, ending at American Social
Friday, Day 2
- Hot yoga or hot HIIT class at Yoga Joint
- Spend the day at Wet Deck
- Hop around the beach bars on Fort Lauderdale beach for happy hour (Blondies Sports Bar and Elbo Room)
- Dinner at S3 Restaurant Sun – Surf – Sand
- Go out at Rooftop @ 1WLO
Saturday, Day 3
Less is more when it comes to Saturday, and you’re going to want to spend alllll day at The Wharf after kicking off the day at Fort Lauderdale’s most well-known brunch spot, Louie Bossi’s.
- Brunch at Louie Bossi’s
- Day drinking at The Wharf
- Dinner at leisure (either at hotel, in the room, or along the beach)
Just don’t get so drunk that you miss your flight on Sunday!
Images: The W Hotel Fort Lauderdale; El Vez; s3sunsurfsand, rhythm_vine, wharfftl, rooftop1wlo / Instagram.